Posts Tagged ‘Caribbean’

Destination Pretty: St. Maarten’s Sailing Takes Me Away

I have always loved water. I seriously think I should have been born under the Pisces sign, but I’m a true Sagittarius. Although, I was born to a Pisces mom. There are times I even go to bed with the beach waves application on my phone because I just need to hear the waves, look at the ocean, enjoy the sun, and just relax. I have always been like this and as I get older I need more heat and water in my life. On my trip to the lovely St. Maarten we participated in a true sailing activity. I was stoked.

When I say sailing, it was on a huge sailboat. An America’s Cup sailboat to be exact. Imagine my delight when I realized that we were going to be the crew. Of course, I wasn’t appropriately dressed. I had on a dress and tennis shoes. Nevertheless when duty calls I’m there. How often are you on a beautiful island with a real Captain Morgan. No joke. See the photograph below of Captain Morgan and I. The Captain even let me steer the boat for a few minutes. Insane.

Here’s the rundown. This is a 12 meter challenge against another boat and team. The crew is made of tourists competing against each other. We did have a real crew on board, obviously. These guys and one lady taught us what we needed to learn, before we assumed our necessary roles on the boat. There was also a person to pass out beverages (hello beer, soda, and water) whenever there was a need to hydrate.

My position on the boat was to work on the winch, which basically means I swung the rope around this mechanical device (crank) to release the sail. Can I tell you how much fun I had. Of course, before all the sailing festivities I still had to apply some type of lip gloss. I think I saw the crew give a slight chuckle during my prep time, but I was okay with that. I was a  wet mess, hair in a curly salt-water-bun, and oh so happy. I loved every single minute of it. The only question I had was “when can I do it again.”

I finished my time of sailing with a hearty lunch of Bang Bang Shrimp at the Greenhouse Restaurant.

So I came home and learned about various Regattas around the world. It is definitely time to get these sea legs wet again. Beach Babe 2012 in full effect. The only words that “get me” at this moment are from Christopher Cross.

My visit to St. Maarten was sponsored by the St. Maarten Tourism Board. All opinions are my own.

Destination Pretty: St. Maarten or Saint Martin – Twice the Amount of Fun

The trip could not have come at a better. I was feeling the itch. The itch to put my toes in sand, wear sleeveless dresses, and drink a fruity libation. My island transformation happened to be in St. Maarten. Most places have two sides, but it really is true for St. Martin. St. Maarten for my Dutch friends and Saint Martin for my French friends. In one day you can go from saying Hallo to Bonjour in a matter of minutes. St. Maarten has much to offer for the experienced traveler and the vacationer. The island boasts galleries for the art enthusiast, festivals, regattas, and outdoor activities such as zip lining and hiking. If you want more than just a beach, St. Maarten is your destination.

St. Maarten had been on my “list” for awhile. It is amazing how long my list keeps growing. As a traveler and travel writer I am always awaiting the next destination or assignment. I decided on this trip to  use all my senses to enjoy each moment. I was very busy on the trip, but was able to enjoy what the island had to offer. St. Maarten is located 150 miles from Puerto Rico and a short plane or ferry ride to Anguilla and St. Barts. The island has over 37 beaches. Let’s take that in for a minute.

There is a beach for everyone. One of the more popular beaches is Maho Beach. Maho Beach is located next to the Philipsburg airport and it is the spot to watch the sun set as planes land. The planes fly so close over the beach that if you are on the beach be prepared to get sandblasted as the planes rev up their engines. I preferred to watch the festivities from my trusty spot at Sunset Bar & Grill. Princess Juliana Airport is the main gateway to St. Maarten. There are numerous airlines arriving every minute it seems. For such a busy airport I was shocked at how efficient customs handled the large masses.

There is a lot two do on both sides of the island. The French side boasts the islands only nude beach and a ferry terminal that travels between the islands and other beaches. English is spoken everywhere, but it is important to remember that on the French side you will be charged in Euros so know your exchange rate.

The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa (with its lobby casino) was my home away from home and provided a great combination of sand, surf, and relaxation. The hotel’s Dawn Beach location was great for early morning strolls near the water which I used as my morning meditation. I wish every morning I could meditate near water. Although I traveled primarily through the Dutch side of the island it was nice to come “home” every night to everything the Westin has to offer.

On the plane ride home from St. Maarten there was only one thought in my mind. How soon can I return?

My visit to St. Maarten was sponsored by the St. Maarten Tourism Board. All opinions are my own.